An European high-level event under the Italian EU Presidency, co-organised by Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) and the European Commission, DG CONNECT, A1, was held the 29 - 30 October 2014, in Rome, Italy.
The event focussed on opportunities offered by innovative Micro/Nanoelectronic and Photonic solutions to benefit European citizens and cities. The workshop was meant to facilitate the sharing of experiences, strategies and forward-looking plans between decision makers, public authorities, industry and research.
The first day was devoted to "Photonics and Micro/Nanoelectronics: research excellence and industrial competitiveness to target societal challenges in Europe".
A relevant number of high level people from industries and public organizations outlined how Photonics and Micro/Nanoelectronics, as so-called key enabling technologies will support growth and creation of new jobs. They stimulate as well the development of new goods and services and the restructuring of industrial processes needed to modernise EU industry, while helping to face today's main societal challenges: better and affordable healthcare, independent living for the elderly, delivering effective public services, energy efficiency, smart transport, secure internet, inclusion, preservation of cultural heritage.
Highlights from the day include recognizing European strengths and weaknesses in comparison with its competitors, the need for public investment and joint activities, the vast opportunity for biophotonics to exploit its full potential, the importance of sensors, the need to have standards, open platforms and new financing models.
The second day was dedicated to "Creating Momentum for Accelerating Large-scale Deployment of LED Lighting for Sustainable Smart Cities in Europe". Best practice experiences made by European cities in deploying LED lighting solutions, providing examples of European, national and regional incentive and support schemes and addressing LED lighting innovation in the Smart Cities context were presented by high level city representatives: majors and deputy majors, city treasures, governors of regions. In the panels, key actors from municipalities and public bodies as well as from industry were brought together to debate the issues at stake.
It was surfacing that cities are looking for integrated solutions (such as those expected from smart city concepts) which provide interoperable, open solutions and standards; avoiding technology lock-in.
Neelie Kroes participated in the closing session. She stressed the importance of ICT-KETs for jobs and growth, as well as the opportunity to bring them closer to the citizens', e.g. through take-up actions in IoT and/or Smart Cities.